By JOSEPH WHITE, AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Entering the 14th inning, the New York Yankees
were 0 for 14 with runners in scoring position, and Washington
Nationals teen sensation was Bryce Harper was 0 for 6 at the plate.
The Yankees got off their goose egg. Harper didn’t.
Mark Teixeira’s two-run double to the right-field corner made
the difference Saturday as the Yankees won their eighth straight
game, beating the Nationals 5-3.
New York outfielder Dewayne Wise, who cut down a runner at the
plate in the eighth inning to keep the game tied, said it felt as
if the game “was going to go 25 innings. I was looking at the
bullpen thinking I may have to come in and throw an inning or
Jayson Nix opened the 14th with an infield single, then stole
second and advanced to third on Derek Jeter’s single to left.
Jeter’s hit made the Yankees 1 for 15 with runners in scoring
position, but Nix couldn’t score because he had to make sure the
ball made it past the infield.
After Curtis Granderson struck out, Teixeira got the Yankees up
to 2 for 16 with the double off Brad Lidge (0-1). It was Teixeira’s
only hit on a day that started _ seemingly long ago _ with
strikeouts in the first, third and fifth innings.
“Find a way to get it done, and that’s what our guys did,”
manager Joe Girardi said. “To be honest, I was having a hard time
remembering how we got our other three runs. It was so long ago.”
Freddy Garcia (1-2) pitched two innings to get the win.
Rafael Soriano earned his 12th save, but only after allowing
consecutive one-out singles to Jesus Flores and Steve Lombardozzi.
The game ended when Soriano got Harper to ground out, ending the
rookie’s 0-for-7 day that included five strikeouts.
“I thought he was really amped up,” Washington manager Davey
Johnson said. “I’ve never seen him swing at balls out of the zone.
He was chasing balls. He got into that mode of trying to make
One day after turning 40, Andy Pettitte allowed two runs and
five hits over seven innings in his Nationals Park debut. He
particularly embarrassed Harper by getting the 19-year-old to
strike out three times lunging at off-speed pitches in the
lefty-vs.-lefty, old-vs.-young matchup.
Harper laid off the off-speed pitches his fourth time up against
Pettitte and hit a fastball deep to left-center with a man on the
seventh inning, but Granderson made a running two-out catch that
temporarily preserved the Yankees’ lead. Harper also was called out
on strikes in the 10th against lefty Clay Rapada and went down
swinging in the 13th against righty Garcia.
Harper declined to speak to reporters after the game, but he was
the talk of the Yankees clubhouse. Despite the kid’s tough day,
Girardi was concerned about a storybook ending when Harper came up
in the 14th.
“You start thinking, `OK, this guy’s has a really tough day,
and people are cheering for him, and it could just change his whole
day,”’ Girardi said.
But it didn’t. The Yankees won for the 18th time in 21 games.
The only thing missing was the requisite home run: New York won for
the first time all season without hitting a homer, ending an 0-12
Ian Desmond hit a solo homer in the Washington eighth off Cory
Wade that made it 3-all. The Nationals had a chance to take the
lead later in the inning when pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche singled to
right with Tyler Moore on second.
Wise, who had just moved to right field from left field in a
double switch for LaRoche’s at-bat, charged the ball and threw out
Moore on a close play at home. Replays appeared to show that
Moore’s hand slapped the plate just ahead of catcher Russell
“I don’t want to say it, but, you know, I made a good throw,”
Wise said with a laugh. “The umpire says he was out, so that kept
us going. That’s the main thing _ you make it close, you never know
what might happen.”
With Alex Rodriguez taking the day off from the starting lineup,
Eric Chavez started at third and reached base four times, including
a double off the scoreboard in right-center that gave the Yankees a
3-2 lead in the sixth.
Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed three runs and five
hits over six innings.
NOTES: Pettitte set a major league record by starting his 52nd
interleague game, passing Livan Hernandez. He is 19-16 in AL vs. NL
matchups. … Rodriguez appeared as a pinch hitter in the 10th
inning and grounded out to second base. … The Roger Clemens trial
is taking place a dozen blocks or so from Nationals Park, but it’s
hardly the talk of the clubhouse. “I follow it, but I just wish it
wasn’t in the news,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “I
just wish that we could get by that. He was a great pitcher. He’s
got a lot of my respect, and I hate to see any negative light shed
on baseball in any way, and on any of the great players.” …
Yankees OF Nick Swisher left the game with a bruised quad.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)